What Does a Wedding Planner Actually Do?
I recently worked with a fantastic bunch of vendors to create a styled shoot, and one of the lovely people involved was Louise, the wedding planner from Your Fabulous Wedding. As we were setting up the room I mentioned that I’d recently been asked “so what does a wedding planner actually do?” and she quite rightly said “what doesn’t a wedding planner do?!”. Just from working on a styled shoot (not even a real wedding) I found Louise to be invaluable and I was SO thankful to have her working with me to take off the pressure of organising everything, speaking to various vendors, drawing up contracts etc.
Most people have seen American films with a wedding planner in them – they often seem to create more drama and work but everyone seems to have one. A real-life wedding planner is a little bit different from the movies… thankfully!
So what does a wedding planner actually do? Louise explained that in a nutshell, they organise your wedding on your behalf but there’s a whole lot more to it…
I Save You Time
I know that more and more of you are short on time with busy jobs and family life. Planning a wedding takes up a good chunk of time every week which many couples just don’t have available. In fact, did you know that a wedding takes 250 hours on average to plan! Could you find enough spare hours every week? Do you need to put that extra strain on your already busy schedule?
I save you time by undertaking a multitude of tasks on your behalf. Things like creating and managing your budget, creating the seating plan, managing your suppliers, dealing with your invitations and RSVPs.
I Supply My Professional Organisation Skills.
Does the thought of planning your own wedding bring you out in a cold sweat? Do you have no idea where to even start?
Don’t underestimate the amount of planning needed to deliver a wedding. Even a small wedding will still need serious planning – chances are you will still need the same amount of suppliers as a big wedding. So if planning isn’t your bag then read on.
Other popular scenarios where people choose to have a planner include:
- Not getting married in your home location
- Getting married in less than 6 months,
- having a big wedding (e.g. 100 or more day guests)
- marquee or tipi wedding
- choosing a dry hire venue*.
These all need more planning or time commitment so definitely worth considering a planner if this is you.
*a dry hire venue is where you literally just hire the building and you need to find your own bar, caterers, venue decorators etc etc.
Ok Louise, some of you may be saying – “but how does it actually work?”
I Support You
As well as the practical support, I’ll hold your hand throughout the planning. There are lots of decisions to be made whilst planning your wedding and I’ll support you in making those decisions. I’ll offer advice, suggest alternative solutions and answer your questions. It’s amazing how many things couples need help and advice with and I’m there to guide you.
The initial consultation – getting to know each other
When you first contact a wedding planner they should offer you an initial consultation (usually free of charge). This gives you chance to meet up, talk through your thoughts and ideas and be sure that you are right for each other. It’s really important that you and your partner like the wedding planner and trust her to do the best job possible for you. You’ll be spending a lot of time together over the coming months so make sure you choose a planner who you connect with. Your planner will take time to get to know you both and understand your vision for the day.
Spending your money wisely
If you are a naturally private person – be prepared – your planner will want to talk money with you. She’ll create and manage your budget for you so you have to be honest with her about this. So many couples underestimate the importance of this and have to make painful decisions towards the end as they simply have no money left.
Your planner will provide you with a guide as to how much things are likely to cost. So she can also help you allocate your budget on the things which are most important to you.
Finding Your Suppliers
Finding the right suppliers for your wedding can be a bit of a minefield – how do you know who to trust? How do you know you’re not being ripped off?
Your planner will be able to recommend her trusted suppliers to you and will work with them throughout to ensure they understand your requirements and are on track. Rest assured though, you will always retain full control of the design of your day. Your planner will help to bring together your design ideas. She’ll make sure everything will work together as well as suggesting other ideas for you to think about. All the plans will be reviewed and agreed by you so you don’t need to worry about losing control of your day.
It’s all in the details
Another key skill a wedding planner will bring to the party is their attention to detail. They will put together an incredibly detailed plan of your day and share it with all suppliers.
My schedule usually runs to many pages and every single thing that will happen in your day is listed in there with a time and who is responsible for it.
On The Day
Your wedding planner will be there throughout the big day to make sure the plan is executed perfectly right down to the placement of the last name card and lighting of every candle.
They’ll make sure all your suppliers are in the right place at the right time.
They’ll resolve any last minute hitches (and they do happen but if you have a planner you probably won’t know about it until after the event).
They’ll help your guests and your bridal party as well as making sure you are okay and are totally happy with everything.
There’s so much that a good wedding planner will do on your wedding day, I could go on forever. But the key thing is that having a wedding planner there, means that you can relax and enjoy your day without needing to worry about a thing.
The exact list of things a wedding planner will do will vary depending on your ideas and your individual wedding plans so be sure you are clear about what your wedding planner is and isn’t going to do for you.
Most wedding planners have different packages they offer so take your time to understand what they include and think about the level of help you need.
I’m always happy to chat to couples about what they need help with and create a bespoke package that suits their needs.
Photography by Cristina Ilao